I would not do it for TOR, so I will not do it for Rebecca Black
I was in one of my more introspective moods and I sat back and started a train of thought that mysteriously lead to Rebecca Black and her infamous song Friday. Now, just so we’re clear, I thought that it was a terrible piece of tripe; I could not think of a single positive thing to say about that song, except that I have to give Black credit for daring to try. To be willing to throw yourself out there is one of the first risks you take when you decide that you want to do creative output as a hobby, whether it’s writing or singing or art. If you never show your craft to anyone, you’ll never get criticism and never advance.
Anyway, I was thinking about the fact that people seem to apply such vitriol to things they hate. Rebecca Black is just an example but far from the only example. I find it difficult to understand how something like Naruto or Twilight could elicit such a visceral reaction from people, that anger which drives some pretty eloquent rants occasionally. I mean, I have as little interest in these franchises as the next person but I don’t feel that these things offend me personally, which seems to be how some people view them. Then I came face to face with the way people talk about Star Wars: The Old Republic and I understood what that hostility felt like.
At least, from the receiving end.
You see, I liked The Old Republic and was excited when I saw the rumours about what was going to be in it. I came across the rather vocal part of the hatedom a few months before the actual launch date and I was astonished when I actually found people flaming others for wanting to talk about TOR. It essentially amounted to “stop enjoying and being excited for this game I think is going to be bad”. I even went and checked out the 29:30 video and could not, for the life of me, understand what the joke was. I had to have it explained to me. Twice.
Flash forward half a year and I’ve been playing TOR for awhile and having a lot of fun with it. I didn’t manage to get to the endgame content before I got bored and left, but hey, I enjoyed my time in the world and thought that Bioware had done a reasonable job, albeit with a project that was overly ambitious from conception. I came back to find that these same people who had been flaming people and calling them Biodrones just for being different were now scrutinizing TOR for any flaws whatsoever for the sole purpose of gloating. I asked why they even bothered to follow a game they hated so much and the answer I got was essentially that they were enjoying the spectacle of watching it fail.
Watching it fail? I can’t really understand that either. To me it seems like an overwhelmingly unpleasant mindset to have, born of spite.
This brings us back to the subject of Rebecca Black, and those like her. I’m unable to reconcile an overwhelmingly negative and spiteful attitude like wanting to watch her fail, with my commitment to being a nice person. I may indulge in the occasional ribbing at her expense, and describe her second single, My Moment, as “Butthurt: the Musical”, but I don’t feel any real need to wish cancer or eating disorders upon the poor girl. No one deserves that, not even the worst singer in the world. I didn’t like it when it was said about TOR, so why would I want to then turn around and do it to something that I don’t like?
As an afterthought, I am reminded of a book review on SOFREP, a wonderful site that you should definitely visit if you have any interest in the military and special operations in particular, where the author stated that the site generally reviews things that they enjoy and give positive reviews to. Their rationale for this was that they did not see any reason to waste time talking with their fans about books and gear that they didn’t like, and that if you wanted a critical review you could go to any other publication. Heaven knows there are plenty of people willing to criticize. I agree with that philosophy and it matches up with what I try to do here on my blog. I can talk about what I liked and what I didn’t like in a work, but I don’t feel the need to waste my time or yours writing about something I hated.